Case Studies

Total Health Model at Bellin Health System

Bellin Health System
Green Bay, WI

Bellin Health System is a nonprofit integrated health care delivery system with two hospitals in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The Problem
Annual health care spending at Bellin Health System reached $10 million in 2002, and that figure was projected to increase by $3 million the following year. To slow this rise, Bellin Health System searched for innovative ways to reduce costs, while still improving availability and quality of care. The health care system developed and implemented the Total Health Model for its workforce. Over the years, Bellin Health System slowed the growth of spending per employee through vigorous efforts aimed at improving efficiency.

The Solution
Several components comprise the Total Health Model. The Bellin Health System: (1) uses health risk assessments, analysis of claims and productivity data to gain a better understanding of the health care needs of its employees, (2) offers comprehensive resources to help employees make sustainable lifestyle and behavior changes, such as providing health coaches, nutritionists, fitness experts, educational programs and support groups—all aligned with a primary care physician and medical home, (3) offers customized work solutions such as job matching, health and wellness services, ergonomics, workplace design, rehabilitation and case management and (4) provides a comprehensive navigation plat¬form to guide patients and ensure they receive the appropriate level of care.

The Result
Since 2002, the cost of employee health coverage at Bellin has not increased. An estimated $10 million savings in employee health costs was also projected over a five-year period.
The success of the Total Health Model drew other organizations to follow. Several medium-sized companies contracted Bellin Health System to establish clinics at their workplaces so that minor ailments and injuries among employees are managed before they become serious. This type of prevention and promotion of healthy living had a tremendous fiscal impact on organizations that adopted it. The Fincantieri Marine Group, for example, was able to reduce total health care spending by $2 million even though its workforce has expanded. Similarly, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College estimates about half a million dollars of saving per year, and the Foth Companies are saving a quarter of a million dollars per year. In some places, the model is slowing down health care spending. At LaForce Inc., spending grew less than 2 percent on average annually over the last four years.

Lessons Learned
Engaging and investing in the health of employees, with their active participation, can have a significant impact on both parties: Employers benefit from reduced health care costs and spending while employees benefit from quality care and improved health and well-being.

Contact Information
Randy Van Straten
(920) 431-5501

This case study was originally featured in the HPOE guide: "Engaging Health Care Users: A Framework for Healthy Individuals and Communities," published September, 2012.

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